Along with eating healthy and finding that inner motivation, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is one way you can take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle. Finding a community outlet is a great way to introduce physical activity to the entire family. Joining team sports and utilizing public parks is a great way to get moving, but sometimes team sports can be costly and not all parks are equipped with the right resources. One way that I was able to increase my families physical activity was to go through my children's school.
I enjoy running and wanted to instill that into our kids. Its an easy, low expense way to release energy and feel good about your accomplishments. Last year a friend of mine told me about how her Elementary school had started a running club. I was so excited and teamed up with a few moms at our Elementary and got a club going which we call "Hawks on the Move". We didn't want to exclude teachers or students from joining if they did not want to run and therefore encouraged both running and walking.
After jumping through all of the bureaucratic hoops we got the run club approved and started the club in January 2014. We started off with a sample letter and waiver to send home to the parents. The cost was $10 to join the club and included a t-shirt and helped to offset the cost of the beads and water. We recruited awesome teachers and moms that were not only avid runners but saw the benefits of more physical activity for the children. We received an overwhelming response with 100+ children signing up to meet one day after school each week through April. We measured out a track in our large open field and each lap was roughly 1/4 mile. The children receive beads for each mile ( 4 laps) that they ran. We bring water and music and let the kids get their energy out on Friday afternoons.
This year we started the club earlier in October and will again end it in April with a Turtle Trot supporting our local turtle rehab and education center Gumbo Limbo.
We have had sponsors which have included the YMCA, Sports Authority and KIND snack bars and local physical trainers who helped us with warm ups. The YMCA donated a team of trainers which put together a fun warm up, Sports Authority donated water bottles, coupons, pencils and lanyards, KIND snacks donated snack bars.
As a Registered Dietitian I also wanted to make the club about instilling healthy habits and came up with a weekly handout that touches on a brief nutrition topic. If you are interested you can download the 10 week handouts here. If you want more information on how to start a run club ( or at least how we did it), click here to download the start up handouts.
Get moving and good luck with your clubs!
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